Now seems a good time to start the pool on how this whole Plaxico Burress thing plays out.

Just to review: Idiot wide receiver--who happened to catch the winning touchdown in the Giants' Superbowl victory back in February--carries illegal handgun into New York nightclub. Shoots self in leg, requiring a trip to the emergency room. Hospital workers fail to notify police. Giants' management initially fails to notify police, who learn of shooting from news reports. (Team officials insist they instructed NFL security to notify police as soon as they "started to get a sense of what we were dealing with.") Police are promised an interview with one of idiot's teammates, who was with idiot at time of the shooting. Teammate fails to show up at precinct house for interview. When police later go to teammate's home, teammate is unavailable for interview. Instead, two members of Giants' management are dispatched to chat with police.  

At first glance, the incident has all the earmarks of celebrity justice in the making, as rich and famous sports star gets protection from the consequences of his own stupidity. A this point, however, it looks as though Burress, his pals, the Giants, and the hospital in question have all behaved so badly that a backlash may be in the works. Mayor Bloomberg is close to apoplectic, publicly calling not only for Burress to do hard jail time, but for authorities to go after the hospital management as well for failing to notify the cops. Fuming about Burress being a "role model" for kids, the mayor clearly would like the receiver punished harshly in part to send a message to other similarly inclined idiots. 

Now, New York law requires a mandatory three-and-a-half years in state prison for each of Burress's two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. The maximum allowed is 15 years per count. Then again, Burress is a realllllly famous athlete who, after all, won the home team the big enchilada this year. 

So what do we think he'll get: Mistrial? Hung jury? Complete acquittal? Plea bargain? Anyone want to boldly predict actual incarceration?

--Michelle Cottle